Sunday, 24 April 2016

48 Hours In New Orleans

We recently returned from a road trip to the American 'Deep South' and New Orleans was one of the stops on our journey. Known for it's partying atmosphere on Bourbon Street, New Orleans has much more going for it than that, including amazing architecture, intriguing history and being the birthplace of jazz. Here is my guide to what to see and do in New Orleans in 48 hours.


Jackson Square

Day 1

Morning

The French Quarter


Although New Orleans is much more than the French Quarter, this is where many of the tourists stay and if you are short on time it's the best base, to be in the centre of the action.


Start by orientating yourself to this lovely area. The French Quarter is popular for its collection of great restaurants, cool hotels, and happening bars. This area is also easy to walk around and is well known for its beautiful architecture. It's the oldest neighbourhood in New Orleans and the buildings are a mix of Spanish, French, American and Creole styles.

Jackson Square


Jackson Square is a historic park in the centre of the French Quarter. It's an area where local artists paint, play music and hang out. It's also home to one of the best restaurants in New Orleans - Muriel's. Check out the menu for tomorrow night and book in advance for the weekend.


While you are exploring this area be sure to head to its centrepiece; the stunning St. Louis Cathedral that holds religious services, cultural events, and even free concerts throughout the year.

The Presbytere

The Presbytere is a great little museum in Jackson Square that houses the thought provoking Hurricane Katrina exhibition on one floor and the cheerful Mardi Gras exhibition on the other.  Entrance is a very reasonable 6 dollars with discounts for concessions.  

The Hurricane Katrina exhibition really touched me. The Coast Guard rescued over 34,000 people in New Orleans alone and nearly 2000 people died, many of dehydration and heat exhaustion waiting in their attics to be rescued. It really made you think about why in modern America, people were left for days with little food and water in the summer heat.



When you have finished in the Prebytere, stop for lunch in one of the many cafes and restaurants in this vibrant area. If you are still full after the hotel breakfast have a beignet - a donut covered in powdered sugar at Cafe Du Monde or Cafe Beignet. For something more substantial try a bowl of gumbo - a thick rich bowl of seafood or meat stew.

Afternoon

Royal Street

Royal Street is a lovely street in New Orleans known for it's antique shops, art galleries, and upmarket hotels like the Montelone Hotel. Every afternoon part of Royal Street is closed to traffic and various street performers and jazz musicians play.  Spend time exploring, listing to the music in the street, browsing the stores and having a drink in one of the cafes or bars.


Back to the hotel for a relax by the pool and freshen up.

Evening 




Bourbon Street


Directly in the French Quarter is Bourbon Street - New Orleans partying area. It's noisy, it's brash, it's colourful, it's a bit smelly, but it has to be done. We felt safe but if you are on your own or with kids beware of the odd drunk, strip clubs and dodgy characters. There are lots of clubs playing music, have a hurricane cocktail at Pat O'Briens for the true tourist experience.

Royal Street

When you've had enough of Bourbon Street, walk around the corner to Royal Street and stop off at Hotel Montelone for a Sazerac cocktail at the cool Carousel bar that rotates, then Mr B's Bistro, for quality Creole food in a smart but laid back atmosphere.

Day 2
Morning





Take A Tour

There are many tour companies in New Orleans and we highly recommend Free Tours By Foot. This great little company has very informative and interesting tours. We took both the French Quarter tour and the Voodoo tour. You pay at the end with a tip and the tours are technically free.

The Voodoo tour was fascinating. The religion Voodoo and the magic hoodoo was brought over with African people that were shipped over as slaves. They had little to hold onto besides their religion and traditions. Voodoo, as it is portrayed in Hollywood films, is different to the religion that is practised then and still is today. It's a very spiritual religion and used for good mostly - the most popular potions used are love potions.



We managed to see where Marie Laveau, the Voodoo queen lived. You may have heard her name from the American Horror Story TV series - Coven. In reality, she was a very intelligent woman, a hairdresser to the rich of New Orleans, and she gained her power from listening to women gossip. She had a gift for showmanship and was also a Catholic. She was granted permission to complete her voodoo rituals behind St Louis cathedral, and would remove curses, read minds and be a spiritual guide.

Stop for lunch in the French Quarter. For authentic food local to the area try a Po Boy, a French bread sandwich or a muffaletta - a round sandwich with focaccia style bread filled with meats and olive salad.  To find out more, and for some tasty photographs read my blog post on New Orleans iconic food and drink.

Afternoon

The Garden District 



Take a tram, horse and cart or short taxi ride to The Garden District. A very historical residential neighbourhood, you’ll find yourself surrounded by grand trees, ivy, and of course plenty of gardens. Famous people who have homes here include Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage and Anne Rice who wrote 'Interview With A Vampire'. It's a pretty area to walk around and also houses the stunning Commander's Palace restaurant - with 25c martinis at lunchtime!

The National WWII Museum



If you want to take in a fantastic museum, the National Word War II museum is a further 15 minute walk from The Garden District, and well worth a visit.

Filled with original artifacts it covers the history of World War II from the start of the war, the world leaders, and the everyday men fighting for their country and the women supporting them. The Beyond All Boundaries 4D show narrated by Tom Hanks is highly recommended and moving and you can follow a real soldier through the war by his dog tag and find out what happened to him at the end. A place to make you think and an outstanding museum.


Evening


Bourbon Street




Take a stroll through Bourbon Street to see all human life. Cafe Beignet has a courtyard area where you can listen to jazz. 
New Orleans is widely regarded as the birthplace of Jazz, from the African American communities in the 19th century.

Frenchmen Street

For true authentic jazz, walk to Frenchmen Street for jazz clubs, live music venues, and cool restaurants. This is the place where all the locals hang out. Stop at one of the jazz clubs for a drink. Places like The Spotted Cat, or Snug Harbour are highly recommended to gain a true feel of the city’s culture.



Jackson Square


Take a walk back to Jackson Square and have dinner at Muriel's. This historic restaurant in a 19th century building has amazing food and cocktails and is perfect for your last night in The Big Easy. A special meal, in a special place, but watch out for the ghosts as it is reputably haunted.




So this is my 48 hours in New Orleans. Once experienced never forgotten New Orleans is a place full of culture, heart,
 amazing music and fantastic food. Unmissable. 

We stayed at Hotel Le Marais
We ate at Mr B's Bistro and Muriels 

* We were given a pass to museums and attractions courtesy of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau
MummyTravels


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42 comments

  1. The amount of powdered sugar on that doughnut!! seriously though it really looks like you've had a great couple of days there.

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  2. I haven't been to New Orleans but i'd love to visit there, it looks an amazing place to visit x

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    1. It's a place that is full of life, that's for sure.

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  3. I would love to visit New Orleans, your photos are amazing!

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  4. I'd love to visit New Orleans the history in incredible! Really love your photos x

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    1. It is such an historic place. I could have talked about the history of New Orleans too.

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  5. I'd love to visit New Orleans - your travel pictures look great.

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  6. Wow what a beautiful looking place - I would love t explore more of the US one day. x

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  7. It looks amazing, I so want to try a beignet it sounds yummy.

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    1. It was yummy, although I do have a soft spot for the jam donuts in the UK.

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  8. Beautiful pictures! Looks like you had a great time :) x

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  9. Lovely photos. I bet you had a great time.

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  10. I watched a video about how New Orleans is the new Hollywood so I'd love to visit!

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    1. I would love to see that video Laura, do you have a link? When I was there I saw NCIS New Orleans being filmed.

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  11. i do love how new orleans look! i definitely need to go one day

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  12. I am dying to go to New Orleans and this looks so beautiful and amazing I really need to get saving X

    Miss Kitty Kaos - Adventures Of A Riot Grrrl

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  13. I still haven't made it to New Orleans yet! :( But your pictures are stunning and make me wonder if I can squeeze a little road trip in while I am visiting my mom in Texas in a few weeks! ...hrmmm #CityTripping

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    1. If you can go! I am not sure how far it is from Texas though but flights are cheap enough from state to state.

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  14. New Orleans is a place I would love to visit...and reading this and looking at your pictures has made me want to even more....especially when there is somewhere selling 25c martinis! A very rich history to explore and I can imagine the Hurricane Katrina exhibit was incredibly moving! Thanks so much for linking to #citytripping

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    1. Thank you for your comments. I actually want to go back again, and I hardly ever want to visit a place twice! The exhibit about Katrina was very moving and so was the WW2 exhibition.

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  15. This is on my list of places to visit - it looks so fun and quite different to other parts of the US that I've been to #citytripping

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    1. It is very unique Rebecca and totally different to everywhere else in the USA. It almost has an European feel.

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  16. Some fantastic suggestions here. You did loads in 48 hours! I spent some time in New Orleans years ago and loved the atmosphere, the architecture, the jazz, the beignets and the gumbos. Next time I'll have to do a voodoo tour, that sounds fascinating. #citytripping

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    1. We did. The Voodoo tour was so fascinating, I highly recommend it.

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  17. I just got back from a weekend in New Orleans as well! I went with a friend of mine and we both had an amazing time! I'm only sad it took me so long to get there!

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  18. New Orleans has been on my must visit list for a very long time! We lived in Savannah for 3 years but never made it to New Orleans and now that we are back living in the UK I really regret it:( Your 48 hours in the city sounds incredible. I look forward to reading more about what you got up to on your tour of the Deep South. #CityTripping

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    1. I must write about Memphis and Nashville!

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  19. New Orleans looks lovely. Seems like you packed lots of great stuff into your 48 hours.

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  20. I would LOVE to visit New Orleans, it seems to have an incredible atmosphere. My husband wants to wait until the kids are a bit older before we go and I can see his point, but it's hard to wait

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  21. It really does sound unmissable and you did so much! Glad you had a great time and love your pics too. #citytripping

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  22. I've always wanted to visit New Orleans - you packed so much in in just 48 hours! The walking tours sound the perfect way to explore. #citytripping

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    1. We did and it is a brilliant city to explore on a walking tour.

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  23. So want to go there now - great you packed so much in in such a short time, the muffaletta soundes delicious xx

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  24. I really want to go to New Orleans, but we just didn't have time. I wasn't willing to give up Wilmington so I had to sacrifice New Orleans instead. Your photos look amazing and it sounds like you had an awesome time. i'm super jealous. ♥ HWY29

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    1. If you have the chance to go, do. It's an amazing place, we loved it Hayley!

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  25. I would love to visit New Orleans, looks like you had a great time. Thanks for linking to out and about

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  26. Brilliant post Mellisa! Hoping to go there next April, I'm sure I will follow in your footsteps, your 48 plans sounds perfect!
    Mine will just include lots more cake :-)

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    1. Only just seen this! You should check out my post about iconic New Orleans food and drink Michaela http://www.thediaryofajewellerylover.co.uk/2016/03/new-orleans-iconic-food-and-drink.html

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